The Iraq war has caused the deaths of approximately two thousand American military people, a nuspecified number of civilian contractors (or at least I haven't even seen an estimate), and at least tens of thousands of Iraqis. It's been over a year since the Lancet study (a carefully done stastical survey) said that the odds were that about 100,000 Iraqis died who otherwise wouldn't have. While there have been questions (possibly unreasonable) about the study, I haven't heard anything about efforts to do a more current and perhaps sounder study.
It sounds weird, but this represents real progress--it used to take much longer for people to get horrified at a war if they got horrified at all, and wars were apt to kill more people--large multiples of more people--and go on longer. I'm grateful for the social and technological progress which is steadily making it harder to ignore the effects of war.
SF reference: The bit in Bujold's _Falling Free_ where a character is perturbed by being treated with more respect after she's killed someone.
I need to take another look at _Tolkien and the Great War_--it's got a history of how people wrote about war.
It looks as though some of the chi gung and cognitive psych I've been doing lately are paying off, though I'll see whether I think they're paying off well. That little essay was things I've been thinking for a long time, but which I haven't had the nerve to say in public. I was afraid I'd be told I wasn't grateful enough to soldiers. If people say that to me, I'll deal. The fact that they're sure of themselves and/or angry and/or quite possibly have the majority on their side doesn't mean I need to keep silent.